Warning! There will be spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian Episode 8 this week!
The Rise of Skywalker premiered last week and that means there are a lot of things to dig into from the film, some of which you might have missed. One thing that nagged at me was the final moment between Lando Calrissian and Jannah, the Stormtrooper-turned-Resistance-fighter found on Kef Bir.
These two characters have never met, but they share a knowing moment. The first time I watched it, I couldn't tell if Lando was hitting on her or if he truly wanted to help her. After further investigation, I found more to the story in Pablo Hidalgo's excellent Visual Dictionary for the film.
It seems there's more to the story that was likely cut from the film — but it appears in the ancillary material.
"The First Order went after us ― leaders from the old wars. They took our kids," Lando is quoted as saying in the book. The rest of the quotes seem to come straight from the film, which means this is likely a cut plot thread that was still paid off in the celebration.
But the story and timeline offered in the book is a fascinating one.
Lando settled down and tried to start a family, but his daughter mysteriously vanished. "It was only later that it became clear who the culprits behind the abduction were: the First Order, building their fighting forces but also specifically striking old Alliance leadership," the book goes on to say.
And it makes sense if you think about it. This is why they went after Ben Solo, as well.
But now you have the context so that the next time you watch the movie, you can find that moment as touching as it was intended to be.
It's no longer a surprise that Ahsoka Tano's voice appears in The Rise of Skywalker. She's part of the vocal montage of Jedi voices that help guide Rey to ending Palpatine once and for all. One thing that appeared to be a running theme across the voices is that they were all dead Jedi. We heard from Anakin Skywalker, Kanan Jarrus, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Yoda, and more. They all seemed very dead, so it felt logical to assume that by this point in the timeline, Ahsoka Tano had also joined them.
Not so fast, says Dave Filoni.
He posted this on his Twitter over the weekend:
There's a big question mark over where Ahsoka is in Star Wars. The last time we saw her was as "Ahsoka the White" — much like The Lord of the Rings' Gandalf — heading out to find Ezra Bridger after the galactic civil war in Star Wars Rebels.
Is she dead? Is she alive? This is a game Filoni likes to play and only time will tell.
The Mandalorian ended its first season on Friday with Episode 8, "Redemption," and it had a shocking reveal at the end of the episode.
Yes. Moff Gideon is in possession of the fabled Darksaber. For those less familiar with it, I put together a list of episodes you should watch about it in 2017 for StarWars.com. There have been more additions to the list since then, but if you've seen the end of Star Wars Rebels, you know that this saber is traditionally wielded by the rightful leader of Mandalore.
The last person we saw wielding it was Bo Katan (voiced by Katee Sackhoff) just prior to the Battle of Yavin. The Mandalorian has talked a lot about the purge on Mandalore and Moff Gideon refers to the "Night of a Thousand Tears" as something he took part in. He also knows the Mandalorian's real name (Din Djarin) and worked as an ISB officer during the war.
This single shot of this one object, the Darksaber, was charged with so much history that its appearance here, the last image of the season, means so much more than we realize. It being in Gideon's care implies so much, but I don't want to suggest that Bo Katan is dead, though it's a possibility. It feels like Katee Sackhoff could easily bring the character into live-action and I think it would feel like a missed opportunity if they didn't.
Season 2 can't come soon enough. There's no date for its release, but it is currently filming.
In the opening sequence of The Rise of Skywalker, we saw a planet that should have been familiar to Star Wars fans: Mustafar. This is where Anakin murdered the Separatist leadership and faced off against his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. It's where Darth Vader established his castle, as well, in part because the planet is strong in the Dark Side. It's also where Kylo Ren found the first Sith Wayfinder.
But why does this ashy forest look so different?
Star Wars Explained created a video about it that I'll leave you with, but it seems like the VR experience Vader Immortal answers the question.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!